Ethics@Noon: Étienne Brown

Ethics at Noon

Misinformation and Freedom of Expression

With the rise of ‘fake news,’ European liberal democracies are currently in the midst of a debate about the value of laws that aim to regulate the spread of false information on the internet. One central objection directed against such laws is that they represent undue violations of our individual right to freedom of expression. In this presentation, I argue that they do not. More precisely, I contend that legal prohibitions against the intentional spread of false information can be justified on three main philosophical accounts of free speech: the epistemic account, the civic duties account, and the harm-based account. I then consider the objection according to which any legal prohibition against intentional misinformation will unjustly set back the interests of individuals who unintentionally misinform others.

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Étienne BrownÉtienne Brown
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow

Wed, Jan 23, 2019
12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin